This report presents findings from the Multi-State Study of Family Child Care Decline and Supply. The study sought to better understand why regulated FCC educators in four states – California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin – enter the field, why they remain engaged, and why they ultimately may decide to leave FCC. While the study was conducted during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not designed to examine how the pandemic influenced workforce dynamics in FCC, although we asked about educators’ experiences broadly. An earlier brief highlights these experiences specifically related to the pandemic (Porter et al., 2020). This study report begins with a brief overview of the literature on the historical and contemporary FCC context, including the conceptual model that informed this research. We then describe our methods and our analytic approach. We present qualitative and quantitative findings from the study in three chapters that showcase the experiences of educators at different phases of their careers. First, we explore the stories of former educators who made the decision to close the doors of their FCC businesses (Chapter 2). Next, we learn from current educators about the aspects of their work that kept them engaged in the field (Chapter 3). Third, we focus on early career educators’ experiences becoming regulated (Chapter 4). At the end of this report, we discuss how findings from this study may contribute to local, state, and federal policy decisions about how to expand the FCC workforce, better support current educators, and reverse the trajectory of declining supply (Chapter 5). (author abstract)
Family child care educators’ perspectives on leaving, staying, and entering the field: Findings from the Multi-State Study of Family Child Care Decline and Supply
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